If you’ve been involved in this business for a few years, you’ll remember the “old days” when rollouts of any real size were big news. Now, big rollouts are commonplace and don’t even get much attention when they happen (unless your company got the deal).
Consider this: The Italian Post Office has installed 11,500 digital signage displays in 3,800 or so branches across the country, used for queue management. The system is built around an app developed by the postal service. Customers book appointments using their phones, and watch the screens to see which counter to go to when their queue number comes up, as relayed by a management system.
There are 17-inch screens atop each counter as well as a larger summary display. The screens are VIA Technologies’ all-in-one ARM-based units, running an HTML5/browser optimized flavour of Linux.
Says VIA: VIA Mobile360 HMI Starter Kits feature a highly-integrated low power motherboard and validated LCD screens to provide the fastest and smoothest path for building smart display devices for a wide variety of all-in-one digital signage and kiosk applications.
No indication of the signage software vendor. If I had to guess, there isn’t one – as this likely web services stuff just querying and showing data (the wait number and counter) from a queue management platform.
These sorts of applications don’t exactly get pulses racing for people in this business, but the volume of screens used should. Queue management seems pretty boring on the surface, but it’s one of the really great applications out there … because it goes to the heart of a problem – line-ups, wait times and lack of status information – and makes it better.
Hat Tip to Digital Signage Summit for posting something on this …
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.